Introduction & Event Overview

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend Embracing Change, an event brought by Ladies that UX Los Angeles and sponsored by Ticketmaster. It was a nice, intimate gathering of UX professionals held at Ticketmaster’s venue. The presentation was given by Kathryn Campbell, Ticketmaster’s director of research and insights. She spoke about the pace of change in today’s working environment, and the need to adapt more quickly to these changes.

Throughout her presentation, Kathryn shared practical tips on how to effect change in your organization by extending empathy to colleagues, finding their key motivators, and building relationships. Her tips were especially applicable to UX professionals who are expected to constantly adapt to new technologies, practices, and methodologies.

Key Topics & Players

Throughout the presentation, Kathryn emphasized our need for empathy. She talked about how easily we as UX professionals have empathy for our users, and she invited us to extend that same practice to our colleagues. For example, she urged us to ask whether our colleagues’ basic needs have been met, and to meet them where they are.

In considering this, I thought it sounded simple, but then I realized how much the practice of framing our requests around other people’s viewpoints can be very difficult–especially when there has been a history of disagreements. Nevertheless, it is a wonderful reminder to put ourselves in other people’s shoes.

Personable Engagement

Perhaps the idea that stood out to me the most was finding a strong pilot partner. Kathryn argued that instead of trying to get the entire organization immediately on board with UX, it is more effective to find an individual or department that is already in agreement with many of your practices. I interpret this is an opportunity to find someone who you already have a good rapport with or is known to be an evangelist, and start having conversations about UX with them. Doing so effects change in a more impactful way, and can slowly influence more members of your organization over time.

Often, I feel responsible for educating my colleagues about the importance and need for solid UX practices, but I get overwhelmed by the idea of influencing everyone. Engaging in UX conversations one person at a time makes spreading UX a much more attainable goal.

Wrap Up

I left this event feeling energized and positive. Kathryn equipped us with actionable strategies that were meant to empower and bring about growth. What made her presentation impactful was that it was applicable to everyone regardless of their role in the organization. When I spoke with her after the presentation, I told her I was excited to try her strategies not just with my colleagues but with my boyfriend too!

Ultimately, her presentation was about changing oneself, bringing people together, and truly embracing change. In the words of Viktor Frankl, Kathryn shared: “when we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”